The first thing I noticed was the weight - it's a solid lens at over half a kg (584gms) in weight. There's good quality plastic being used, but there is also a lot of metal and glass that makes this one hefty piece of kit. I'm not complaining mind you. It isn't that heavy. But even on the 5D it holds its own in terms of weight and heft. That's a + in my book.
|1:1 macro with beautiful colour rendition|
Auto focus was even possible down to 1:1 macro, although it did hunt a bit and I switched to manual for most of the true macro shooting with this lens (as I did with the Nikkor).
I haven't purchased this lens myself yet - I'm waiting for a good used one to appear on Trademe - but in looking around I have come across the third-party offerings from the likes of Tamron and Sigma. They get pretty good write-ups most of the time too. The two things that put me off seriously considering them for my macro/portrait work are the inferior (noisy) screw-type focusing systems, and the fact that the barrels extend a great deal as the lenses are focused to full 1:1 magnification. The Canon might start out a longer lens, but it does all the lens extensions internally, and doesn't extend any barrels from the front of the lens. I find this a huge help when shooting macro, because I already know how close I can physically get the lens to my subjects - quite often small jittery creatures who are flighty at the best of times. So I see the Canon's fixed length as a real bonus.
|My Girl f2.8, Canon 100mm Macro|
|NZ Native Pohutakawa Flower|
I could shoot a wedding without taking a 100mm macro with me. But would I want to?